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I have manufactured acrylic tanks for a couple of years. I have not read the whole of this thread so I apologise for repeating things.

I am sorry to say that I personally do not recommend making aquariums out of five pieces of acrylic together as I have found that the glue generally runs out of the joint so its easy to get very small leaks if you are not carefull, then you fingd that you are having to add extra adhesive into the corners of the tank which I believe reduces the benefits of using acrylic over glass, which is 1/4 the price of acrylic, in this country anyway. Nice bent acrylic corners will never leak and look more proffessional IMO. An acrylic bender makes much nicer corners and are available for a few hundred dollars but they can be simply made with a long heating element, some steel section and a dimmer switch.

When attaching the base, first glue thin strips of acrylic along the inside of the base plate leaving 1-2mm gap between the strip and where the side of the tank will sit. When you attach the base to the tank the strips prevent the adhesive running out of the joint. You can also fill this gap with extra adhesive to give the joint extra strength.

Acrylic is so easily scratched and I think micromesh kits are brilliant but they are also expensive for what you get. Polish out scratches with 600 grit, slowly reducing the courseness through 1000 and finally 2000 grit. for the finish use car colour restorer then Brasso and finally silvo silver polish (you can also use a dedicated plastic polish but they are expensive). Polishing Acrylic is a bit of an art and sometimes its easy to leave a milky appearance in the tank if a fine polish is not used. You can also use a plastic diswashing sponge with a plastic mesh cover (25 cents from the supermarket) to get the last few scratches out, before the final polish. Ensure that you wash the tank after polishing as some of the polishes are toxic to fish.

Hope this is helpful

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